Nick Waplington, renowned for his raw and unfiltered perspective, captured a series of behind-the-scenes images at the Cruise 2017 fashion show for Blind For Love.
The limited edition book published by Assouline features a painted portrait of Queen Elizabeth I on the front cover. The artist and photographer discusses the book and his work.
How did the idea for this book come about?
The idea was to create a narrative following the creation of the runway collection, from the chaos of fittings to the grandeur of the show in Westminster Abbey.
The images have a very raw look—what perspective had you planned on going into the shoot?
I have a way of working that I have refined over many years, drawing on "documentary" style photography in order to approach new subjects with as few preconceptions as possible. I deliberately avoid planning beforehand, and concentrate on observing everything I can about the subject in an immersive and vigorous manner.
What did the setting add to the frames; what does the atmosphere of Westminster Abbey impart into the images?
When you enter the Abbey it is easy to let your mind wander to the kings and queens of yesteryear, and to think of Henry VIII or Elizabeth I. But this is also the resting place of Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens, among others, and is still a functioning church. I tried to let the images convey the multiple layers of British history that the building embodies.
You also shot the Men's Cruise lookbook in countryside estate, what was the feeling you wanted to permeate in those images?
I wanted these images to have a relaxed and carefree feel. I was thinking about the Bright Young Things, the 1920’s aristocratic young folk in England who partied and had fun in the countryside, a little Evelyn Waugh and Brideshead Revisited in particular.
What do you consider the main focus of your work—is there a particular idea on urban culture and human expression that is woven through it?
The main focus of my work is to present the contemporary world we live in without judgment, and to provoke the viewer's participation in making meaning. I am particularly drawn to scenes of culture in chaos, which I think can be either violent or creative depending on the perspective you take.